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Watch On Demand
Watch On Demand
Watch On Demand: Spirits in the Material World
In this entertaining and engaging lecture, Paul Bell guides us through the early history of Spiritualism, with special emphasis on London, and on the working class women empowered by the movement. The traditional history of Spiritualism states that it was born in the United States in 1848 with the Fox sisters; but in London ten years earlier, the Okey sisters had already peeled back the veil and communed with the dead in trance. As mediums, working class women in London and elsewhere entered the homes of the middle and upper classes and enraptured them, making for uncomfortable and fascinating negotiations of class, gender, and sometimes, even, sex.
Watch On Demand: Make Your Own Witch Bottles
Witch bottles have been made and used for protection against negative magic and ill-wishing since the Middle Ages, with rich evidence of them surviving from the archaeological and textual records. This class looks at historic examples and modern variants, and then Rebecca leads a practical exercise in which each participant makes their own personalised witch bottle at home. Rebecca Beattie is appreciated for her highly-informed approach, which she combines with a warm, inclusive style. Rebecca is a Wiccan priestess who apprenticed in her tradition over 15 years, and thus brings much lived experience to her teaching. A published author, her titles are Nature Mystics, Somewhere She is There, The Lychway, and many articles. She has a doctorate in Creative Writing (Middlesex), specialising in the modernist mystic Mary Webb.
Watch On Demand: Big Ideas in Witchcraft
Join us for a session exploring some of the Big Ideas in modern witchcraft, in a way that is open and approachable, inviting you to look at your own outlook. Rebecca looks at polytheism and pantheism, at polarity, at the concepts of 'high magic' and 'low magic'. Her illustrated talk is the introduction to Big Ideas we all have been waiting for. The rich two-hour session involves time for discussion and concludes with a guided meditation All invited to this welcoming and inclusive class in the 'Ways into Witchcraft' series. Rebecca Beattie brings almost two decades of experience; she is much-loved for her highly-informed approach, which she combines with a warm, inclusive style. She is a Wiccan priestess who apprenticed in her tradition over 15 years, and thus much lived experience to her teaching. A published author, her titles are Nature Mystics, Somewhere She is There, The Lychway, and many articles. She has an MA in literature (University of London) and a doctorate in Creative Writing (Middlesex), specialising in the modernist mystic Mary Webb
Watch On Demand: The Highgate Vampire
London's Victorian garden cemeteries have a remarkable allure, with their crumbling chapels, shady bowers, and Egyptian follies. In this lecture, Dr Romany Reagan celebrates them, while at the same time, considers them theoretically as sites of ritual. The talk discusses the complex host of people who use them: media-hungry occultists, mock satanists, 21st-century witches, as well as mourners and tourists. Practitioners and visitors alike search for the secular sublime in these graveyard landscapes. Dr Romany Reagan received her PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in performing heritage, for work on North London's Abney Park cemetery. Further research took her into the occult literary heritage of Stoke Newington, ‘earth mystery’ psychogeography, and folklore.
Watch On Demand: Real Magic in Folk Song 'Of Poppets and Posies'
Hannah Sanders explores shapeshifting and plant magic through the medium of real magic in folk song. In this tradition, flowers, posies and trees have symbolic meanings and occult powers. It also speaks to a capacity for humans to become Other - ghosts shapeshifters and spirits . She shows how the musical, symbolic language of transformation that still resonates deeply today, looking at Reynardine, The Three Ravens, the Two Sisters / Binnorie, The Elfin Knight, and others.
Watch On Demand: The myth and history of the unicorn
This illustrated lecture by art historian Ruth Clydesdale takes us back to medieval myth and artistic renderings of the unicorn to reveal its long and evocative history. She discusses how the unicorn was understood in these earlier centuries, how it was seen to have magical powers, how its horn had medicinal uses, and how medieval people believed you could catch one. Ruth Clydesdale is an independent researcher on art, myth and history. She works on renaissance astrology, mythic themes and artistic representations of pagan figures.
Watch On Demand: Wicca Old and New
In this lecture, Christina Oakley Harrington introduces some of the core concepts of Gardnerian witchcraft, a closed religious tradition which is often a hot topic in pagan and occult circles. In this lecture, Christina Oakley Harrington introduces some of the core concepts of Gardnerian witchcraft, a closed religious tradition which is often a hot topic in pagan and occult circles. With examples and anecdotes, she looks at the central ideas, often rarely discussed, that are held by those in this British-based, lineaged witchcraft family. She looks at outsiders' beliefs, too, and how they came to arise, and how they reveal much about the evolving concepts inhabiting that alluring word, 'witch'. Christina Oakley Harrington is the founder-director of Treadwells of London. She has been involved with the pagan communities in the UK and US since the 1980s; she is both a priestess in the Gardnerian Craft and a historical researcher in the field.
Watch on Demand: Mystical 1920 Woodcrafters
Woodland rites, initiatory experiences, and nature mysticism at the heart of the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: kinship with early Wicca? The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, founded 1920, were utopian outdoor enthusiasts, nature worshippers grounded in English pagan lore. Outdoor rites, esoteric symbols and mystical practices were features of its pagan 'Inner Aspect'. Annebella Pollen reveals all in a lively conversation with Christina Oakley Harrington. Wicca was brewing in the same period (1920s-1930s) in the same locale, and our own Christina Oakley Harrington chimes in to compare with the New Forest Coven. Dr Annebella Pollen is Reader in History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton. She is the author of the award-winning book, Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians (Donlon, 2015, recently reissued). Other books include histories of British art, design, photography and fashion, including Nudism in a Cold Climate: The Visual Culture of Naturists in Mid-20th Century Britain (2021, Atelier).
Watch On Demand: England's Last Witches
Dr. John Callow talks about English witch belief, exemplified in the famous Bideford case: animal familiars, erotic tensions, poverty and misogyny England had relatively few witch crazes, but in 1682 in Bideford, a mass panic saw three women convicted and executed. England's last, they were remembered by Greenham Common protestors who made their names into a protest chant; and by generations of West Country folk who retold their stories from the Victorian age through to the present. John Callow talks about his findings in this famous case that had it all: animal familiars, sinister witch hunters, community hardship, misogyny, and dark erotic tensions. It will be on zoom, and he will be in conversation with Christina Oakley Harrington. John Callow's new book is The Last Witches of England (Bloomsbury, 2021). John Callow has written widely on Early Modern witchcraft, politics and popular culture. His books include Witchcraft & Magic in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe (co-authored with Geoffrey Scarre); James II: King in Exile; and Embracing the Darkness: A Cultural History of Witchcraft. He has appeared on on The Salem Witches (Discovery Channel's four-part series), on The One Show to discuss the roots of Hallowe’en; on the BBC Radio 4 documentary It Must be Witchcraft; and on Find My Past's The Great Fire of London.
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